Monday, December 19, 2016

TEN GREEN BOTTLES.........


Craig headed off down to the supermarket after making his list of things to get. Being methodical, he keeps ahead of things and we never seem to run out of anything. So much so, that we have a considerable surplus of most things......... which is really convenient even if a little over the top.

Recently, we started singing 10 Green Bottles which is always good for a laugh. Such a happy home and fun place to be.


Down to nine.... with the last bottle in the dishwasher at the moment.....


Only six of these.... Better top up. As for toilet rolls and packets of coffee... They always make their way on to the list and there are packets of them everywhere. 🙂

We are expecting a few showers this afternoon so making the most of today was worthwhile. A nice time spent picking a few flowers for the vase before getting on with pruning back some of the roses. Isn't it amazing how they can reach out and lunge at you with their thorns. Beasts of things that they are, but I love them all the same.


Excuse the messy bench... I have been busy dealing with priorities...



This little kitten is so adorable and cute. She is well loved and doted on by her new family who live opposite us. Craig has a good hold on her much to Bernie's amusement.






Saturday, December 10, 2016

THINGS GETTING BACK TO NORMAL...



Strawberries and rhubarb from the garden and a few apples to go into the shortcake. The strawberries seem to be appearing in dribs and drabs and I wonder if adding more fertilizer has caused the plants to throw up more growth than fruit, They need potash so a trip to Palmers Garden Centre next week is on the list of things to do.

Mind you, the only tripping I will be doing this time will be by bus. It's been a month since that heavy fall on to a concrete path followed by another fall a couple of weeks later. This one was onto the flat slate slabs in front of the deck when I missed the step up and landed unceremoniously across them, resulting in a deep gash to my wrist. A trip by ambulance to the hospital and several stitches before we caught the bus home in time to catch up with our favourite programmes.

Now that the stitches have been removed and infection cleared up things are back to normal thank goodness.

There have been so many things happening one way and another. John Key has stepped down and Bill English is taking over the reins. With Paula Bennett as deputy the transition will go smoothly I am sure. All done with the minimum of fuss.

Things seem far less straightforward in the States. The President-elect will be well challenged with a mountain of paperwork to wade through for one thing I imagine, and goodness knows how many aides and advisers surrounding him, for another. Perhaps he will simply end up throwing the toys out of the pram before stomping off.....


Rhubarb and Apple Shortcake just out of the oven and smells delicious. Having the new oven and cooktop has made a difference. So reliable with great results and I do not miss the gas hob at all. Clean pots and the smoke alarm isn't going off all the time. The oven is a pleasure to use with the pyrolytic cleaning feature keeping it clean.


Both are Smeg appliances and once you figure out how to use them they are fantastic. I found by following the instructions carefully and doing a bit at a time it wasn't so difficult to master.


Mmm.....  Time for a cuppa.



Sunday, September 25, 2016

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE WARM DAYS OF SUMMER




After so much rain spring has finally arrived bringing many birds into the garden and colorful blossoms abound. We are still lighting the fire at night, mainly due to my love of comfort and, before long, opening the door to cool down.


This blackbird is a regular visitor and waits patiently for the leftovers. He's not the only one of course and soon shares the bounty with a variety of birds. Sparrows in particular fight among themselves and give the starlings time to clean up.





It is good to see Monarch butterflies making the most of the nectar from the nectarine and just fluttering about in general. Their quick movements have kept them safe as they steer clear of Kit.


He is on the go all day heading off all around the place visiting. Masses of energy and plenty to do. He doesn't even settle down to sleep throughout the night and has Craig backwards and forwards letting him back in.


Does Craig mind?....... Not one bit. He just makes a great fuss of his cat.



How does Kit feel about all this? ........... I think he would rather tear up and down a few trees...






Friday, August 12, 2016

ARBOR CARE TO THE RESCUE...


It's that time of the year once again to clear out a lot of surplus growth.  Arbor Care arborists Daniel and David working well and doing a great job.



This Yellow Sunburst Gleditsia shades the garden thoughout summer with many birds fluttering about among the leaves.



Our Agonis has stood its ground here for several years and a much needed trim back and reshaping has not come too soon. Next year's citrus will benefit with more sun as will the roses nearby.




It is good to see new buds on the fruit trees. The nectarine should produce its first crop this season. Pears, apples and plums should have bumper crops.

Last year, the grapes did not do well at all for some reason and as for the pumpkins... they were a
complete disappointment. Probably due to the wet season.

Our firewood is on its last legs after a pretty cold snap. Hopefully, it will see us through and with spring around the corner and warmer days ahead we should be alright.

What do they say about things coming in threes? Well, the oven packed up and left us with an uncooked lasagne. Our new oven and cooktop arrive on Monday. The good news is that it is a pyrolitic model which should take care of the cleaning and we are replacing the gas cooktop with a ceramic one. No more blackened pots!













Friday, March 18, 2016

SHOWERS AND COOLING DOWN




So much for weed spraying today. The oxalis will have to wait and staying inside probably makes more sense.

Yesterday was busy with a couple of bus trips to town for a wireless mouse, down to the supermarket and a visit to the Vet Clinic for flea treatment for the cat before the usual rounds of... 'Catch me if you can.' Kit goes to lengths to dodge this indignity and hiding behind the frig was the latest. Craig heard his unhappy wails as we walked in the door and soon retrieved him. Needless to say, a short reprieve was needed and agreed upon.

I can hear the vacuum cleaner flying around downstairs and take it as my cue to ready myself for the spray mop, being my part of the bargain. Oh, blow it! It's not even 10 am yet.

Our Ultra Fast connection is not too far away with holes dug and underground cable shunted through. Some of the brick paving was taken up to make way and the men did a great job. Everything put back as it was and a roll left in readiness for the final connection in about three weeks. I quickly flung a batch of scones into the oven for their morning tea break before setting off for a mid morning appointment.


Yup......... Just remember what we agreed on!



Thursday, March 10, 2016

AUTUMN HARVEST




Making the most of another beautiful day pottering about outside. I moved this Begonia outside where it continues to flower happily, sheltered with just enough sun and out of the wind. It was a gift from Margaret and Russell when they called in to see us a few weeks ago on their way to spend a couple of days with family in Whakatane. Time had got by and it had been a good while since we last caught up. It was so lovely to see them.


Time for lunch before picking more ripening tomatoes. There's little freezer space left to cram more in so I will take out a bag of plums and make more jam.


A few jars at a time and with citrus coming on, marmalade to follow. It is good to have a regular supply of home grown fruit and vegetables which even the smallest section will produce.


Our first year apples are ready for picking now. Sweet navel orange to the left and pumpkins wandering about merrily. Shooting up trees and over fences, their presence is felt everywhere.


Well, the new passion fruit is taking its time clambering up. Needless to say, we are not expecting anything this time. Funnily enough, since buying the plant, I have come across lots of little seedlings springing up all over the place. I'm sure they will find new homes somewhere.... but not here....




A Crown pumpkin snakes its way along without so much as a by-your-leave. Both Crown and Buttercups are travelling at speed in some sort of crazy race to prove a point....  Are they really this competitive?


Ripening grapes are a sight to behold. This black grape is about a month away I think. Other years, we have been picking the green variety by now. For some reason, it's slow this year.


Looking out across the estuary is luring me away from the computer, but there are things to be getting on with, so I will stay put.... for now.


So much for another blissful day in Tauranga. What more could anyone wish for..........





Saturday, February 13, 2016

AUTUMN JUST AROUND THE CORNER...





Golden Delicious, Splendor and Royal Gala are three varieties ripening on this tree. Nearby a curious pumpkin sidles up to take a look.

I have had the time of my life at Palmer's Garden Centre this year. It's all too easy to get carried away with little thought of where things will go. Funnily enough, plants seem to find their own way and soon nestle alongside one another.




It's that time of the year once again and keeping ahead of the harvest fills the glorious days we are having at present. Boysenberries are on their last legs with blueberries barely holding on. This is Ballarat. It's a cooking apple and is producing well. It's a large variety with fruit swelling daily.




Pumpkins growing everywhere... up through trees and against fences. This buttercup is one of many and has elbowed the boysenberries out of the way while taking over the archway. Of course, there is always plenty of company with Green Shield beetles, Vine Hoppers and the like, putting in an appearance. 



Crown pumpkin from last year has usurped territory from a patient Camellia whilst an espaliered apple peeps through from the other side. I really believe intensive planting works well. They sure like company.





The last of the Burbank plums and a few tomatoes join the crowd in the kitchen. Jams, stewed fruit and preparing vegetables for winter has kept me busy. With grapes starting to ripen and the last of the rhuburb to freeze, there's still much to do.




Muesli with blueberries, boysenberries and banana is a daily thing here. So delicious!




Time for a tidy up I guess, quick catch up of the news, then back to the family tree. It is great going back in time and discovering our ancestors. Time consuming but very interesting. I have gone back about four hundred years so far...  can't wait to go further.